Henry Graves has dedicated his life to the prison service, but he is unprepared for his new assignment. Tasked with managing a hidden government facility, Henry finds himself tested as never before. Tom Clarke, a precocious but naive journalist, has his own problems meanwhile. His life is turned upside down by the arrival of Julia Priestley, who seeks his help in finding her estranged husband, Arthur, an innocent dentist who has been arrested under severe new anti-terrorism legislation.
Discovering a trail that implicates those at the very top of government, Tom and Julia begin a quest to find Arthur, and the truth about his incarceration. But some people will stop at nothing to keep the facility’s secret hidden.
Would you try another book written by Simon Lelic or narrated by Paul Panting?
I thought Simon Lelic's first novel, Rupture, was exceptional but I couldn't get on with The Facility at all. So much is left for the reader to figure out over time - especially when it comes to what the Facility is and why it exists - and I lost patience.
A Review by the Audible Staff Book Club
About the book:
We found this more of an initial sketch of a potentially terrifying scenario, although unfortunately, due to weak characterisation and a Hackneyed start, many Book Club members were turned off the book and were not compelled to listen until the end. Those that persevered summarised it as 'Very visual, almost seeming like it was meant as a screenplay - a feasible plot though no shading'. Many sections of the plot were highly clichéd and formulaic, with Clockwork Orange-esque scenes and caricatured characters, none of whom seemed to provoke much sympathy.
A few group members were admittedly gripped by the plot, especially when it became fast-paced, though admitted that it felt like a 'guilty pleasure' listen. They hadn't dwelt upon the quality or believability of the book, preferring to be swept along in the action, however plausible. One member of the group also expressed a significant disappointment after thoroughly enjoying Lelic's previous book Rupture and felt that this book was a let-down, a feeling unfortunately echoed by the rest of the group.
The group thought that the narrator had done a fair job, although his voicing of the female characters jarred and we also thought that perhaps our annoyance with the majority of these female characters may have been down to this overly 'female' narration attempted by a male narrator. We awarded the narration 3 stars.